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(Embarrassing) Lessons From The Pros

  • By Julia Polloreno
  • Published Aug 3, 2011
  • Updated Nov 10, 2011 at 4:13 PM UTC
Dede Griesbauer at the 2011 Ironman 70.3 California triathlon. Photo: Paul Phillips

Joe Munchak

I’m not sure how this ranks but I remember it pretty clearly all of 7 years later so here it is:

I think I was in the 3rd or 4th out of around 7 waves, which were spaced 5 minutes apart. A few minutes before my wave goes off, as I’m standing in the crowd on the beach, I felt an urge (you know, that urge). The nearest facilities had a long enough line to ensure that I wouldn’t make it back in time for my wave to start, so I did what every man would do in that situation…held it in. Soon enough the gun went off and once I went horizontal, so to speak, things felt fine. In the ensuing thirty minutes it took me to complete the 1500m swim, I felt all sorts of strange sensations from being in the middle of the starting frenzy, being disoriented from the murky tea-colored water (and slightly afraid of alligators, after all, this was Florida)–all typical for your first open water swim, or so I was told. But the urge to go was not amongst these sensations, until I came out of the water. As soon as I stepped upright it came back with urgency and I had little time to spare. I recalled there being a few port-a-johns inside the transition zone, so I made a beeline towards them and managed to take care of business with a sub-3 minute T1 split (no small feat as this was a rather long transition zone). A buddy of mine doing the race, meanwhile, took about 6 minutes to carefully rinse and dry his feet, put on some more sunscreen and tie a bandana on his head. But at the end of the day, as long as you’re having a good time out there, that’s what really matters!

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FILED UNDER: Features / Getting Started / Training TAGS: / / /

Julia Polloreno

Julia Polloreno

As Editor-in-Chief of Triathlete magazine, Polloreno oversees the monthly magazine’s content and production. A Stanford University graduate with an award-winning track record in publishing, Polloreno is a two-time Ironman finisher and has been a competitive triathlete for more than a decade.

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